Friday, January 24, 2014

Your Driving Record And Auto Insurance

What Your Driving Record is and How it Impacts Your Insurance Premiums

Even if you haven’t yet begun to get behind the wheel on a regular basis there is a driving record for you. The moment you applied for a driver’s license your state began keeping an ongoing record of any infractions you may have received. Even if you were driving without a license, that information is on your record. Many people don’t give a second though about theirs, but they play a big role in what you pay for insurance, among other things.

What It Includes

Each state has a Department of Motor Vehicles or Secretary of State that is responsible for keeping detailed records about the driving habits of their licensed drivers. If you happen to get a ticket for something as minor as not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, or speeding just five miles per hour over the limit, it will be recorded on your driving record. No matter how small or serious the infraction may be, it will be compiled into a database, which becomes your record.

What is added to your record, how many points you receive for each infraction, and how long things remain there, all vary by state. Typically, fines and tickets can last anywhere from three to five years, with some serious infractions remaining on your record for seven to 10 years. You can check with your state to find out the number of points associated with each type of infraction and see how long that information remains attached to your name.

How it Impacts You

The sooner the negative information comes off your record, the better. This is because that information is used to help determine your rates when you apply for car insurance. The more infractions or points you have, the more you will end up paying. Several points or tickets on your record could mean that you are seen as a higher risk to the insurance company. Because of this, they charge a higher rate to insure you. But it’s not the only way that a poor record can motor vehicle record can impact you.

Many employers today look at that information in helping to make their hiring decisions. If you have several problem areas you could get passed up on for job offers, especially if the positions have anything to do with driving, such as working in delivery, mail carrying, or being a courier.

Checking the Info

If you haven’t ever done so, visit your state office and request a copy of your motor vehicle record. You may be surprised what is on there. It is a good idea to periodically check it to make sure that everything is accurate. Keeping it clean should be a top priority, especially if you want to save money on your car insurance premiums.